Fake It Till You Make It

I have absolutely no confidence. My self-esteem is non-existent. It’s not even that I see myself as necessarily ugly or unattractive, but every time my boyfriend compliments or tries to hold me I can feel myself mentally crawling into a ball. I was not pretty in middle school and I often felt invisible.

High school was not much better and it didn’t help that my first boyfriend was possessive, controlling, and often played the victim. It made me feel for the longest time that this was the only guy that would ever want me and he’s what I thought love was and what I deserved. College was better, but even still I had boyfriends that cheated or just made me feel like I was a bother or a nuisance.

After this, I did end up dating someone who I am still with but during the first few months I developed depression from the pressure of college and ended up gaining 30 pounds. I have lost almost all of that weight. But, I still see myself as heavy, in need of toning, or not curvy enough in the right places. I can’t help but compare myself to Instagram models and think “that’s what beautiful looks like” and then I look at myself and think if I looked like that I could be confident. My relationship with my boyfriend feels on hold until I look and feel the way I think I’m supposed to.

I have become inwardly mean to myself. I beat myself up for not being perfect. I have so much difficulty accepting compliments from my boyfriend because I can’t help but think “he’s supposed to say stuff like that he doesn’t really mean it.” I have very little patience or love for myself and I will be honest and say this has taken its toll on our relationship. He’s frustrated and I feel unable to fix my mindset. I just see a girl who used to be fat and is somewhat better and after five years of dating I think he will get sick of me and leave.

I have been doing some research today about how to be confident but I think I have landed on the fake it till you make it mindset. I want to try for at least one week to just accept a compliment and not think he’s just lying to you. I want wear the shirts I never feel sexy enough to wear them. I want to fake it in my body language, how I talk, how I present myself. I’m exhausted of thinking makeup, shaving, or exercising pointless.

I’ve let myself become depressed before but I’m just staying inside of it and letting it take over. I don’t want to waste my life thinking awful things about myself that aren’t true. I have been having heart palpitations for days. I have been sad. I think it’s because I feel overwhelmed at the thought of being confident, happy and beautiful. After having depression and anxiety for so long, you actually become comfortable in the misery. You just think this is all there is and I don’t want to fail trying to find out if there’s more.

But, I don’t want to be sad. I don’t want to just surrender to hating myself and being afraid all of the time. I’m fat. I hate myself. My boyfriend will leave. I’m so irrelevant. When do I just say “Stop!” And just think something positive without talking myself out of it.

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